Good Friends Make for Better Health

Psychologists Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin found that the single strongest social predictor of long life was a strong social network. People with hearing loss sometimes have to make themselves keep up those social connections. Those who work with the elderly should be aware of how much hearing loss may be contributing to social isolation.

Antidepressants: The Wrong Drug for the Problem?

Widespread use of antidepressants among the elderly, including the antipsychotic Abilify. Widespread undiagnosed and untreated hearing loss in the same demographic. Could there be a link? Maybe patients should get a hearing test before doctors write the prescription for antidepressants.

Helping People With Disabilities to Help Themselves

For the first time, people with disabilities will not have to impoverish themselves to be eligible for Medicaid, Social Security and other benefits.

Dear Abby's Advice to 'Wife of Deaf Husband' Misses the Mark

Dear Abby, Don't consign old deaf Norm to his room. Isolating himself is the worst possible thing for hm.The elderly need to stay involved and active.

The Perils of Lipreading

Lip-reading snafus are much funnier when the joke's not on us.

An Invisible War Wound

These invisible injuries take on a larger significance not only because it is difficult for veterans to come to terms with the loss -- but also because society is likely to ignore it.

Black Toilet Seats and Hearing Aids

An easily correctable condition vastly increases the incidence of falls in the elderly. Why do we choose to ignore it? Even mild hearing loss results in a three-fold greater risk of falling, the largest cause of death among older people.

Resilience and Perseverance

How do some people manage to summon amazing reserves in the face of adversity? A new book by Rebecca Alexander, a psychotherapist, who is going blind and deaf from Usher syndrome, provides an insight into one woman's inner strength.

The Psychology of an Idiopathic Diagnosis

If you don't know the cause, you can't predict the prognosis. Will it get worse? Are there other symptoms that will emerge? Is it a symptom of an underlying condition? You can't know if it's genetic, and possibly hereditary. Will I pass it on to my children or grandchildren?

Hearing Loss, Language and Creating a World

Thoughts on the subjective nature of language.

An Insight into Being a Mainstreamed Child

Cece Bell's delightful graphic memoir describes with wit and insight what it's like to be "different" in a mainstream classroom. It's not easy, at least until Cece discovers that her hearing loss gives her superpowers. El Deafo rules! Required reading isn’t always fun reading. “El Deafo” should be the first and is definitely the second.

The Psychology of Hidden Disability

Hidden disabilities like hearing loss, eating disorders, epilepsy, asperger's, PTSD may be conditions a patient or client is unwilling to acknowledge to others, and sometimes even to him or herself. But that doesn't mean they aren't major contributors to emotional distress.

Summer Vacation From Hearing

For people with hearing loss, a vacation retreat allows for blissful silence.

Medicare's Shortsighted Policy on Hearing Loss

Medicare already has a woefully wrongheaded policy on hearing tests and hearing aids. A new proposal would only compound that, with serious consequences not only for the health of those with hearing loss but for our country's economy.

Just Call Us HOH's

People with hearing loss, especially adults who heard normally most of their life, don't know what to call themselves. We need a quick and easy term that instantly says "hearing loss." Hard-Of-Hearings, or HOH's? Probably not, but I like it.

Mindless Bias

An academic conference Iast weekend offered a case study in mindless bias. How easy it would have been to make the discussion accessible to all present. Unfortunately, unless people with hearing loss ask for accommodations, no one is going to think to offer them, no matter how easy -- as in the case of a conference -- it might be.

The Walking Deaf

I used to wear earbuds when I took my morning walk. Books and music kept me going. But then I went deaf. No more books, no more music. Now when I walk, I admire my surroundings. I have quick casual chats. But mostly I think. My mind is alive with ideas. I may be deaf but I'm more mentally alive than I ever was when I could hear.

Deafness, Language and Learning to Read

A new book reflects on the deafness of the author's son, and examines the relationship between deafness, early exposure to language (whether oral sign) and learning to read.

Missing from the Medicare Story

Nowhere on the list of major Medicare beneficiaries can you find a speciality having anything to do with hearing loss. Since this is one of the most common afflictions affecting the Medicare generation, how do we account for this absence? It may be the usual suspect: stigma.

Radio for the Deaf?

One way to appreciate a radio show if you’re deaf: Watch it.

Sunny Me?

After I lost my hearing I was, as someone wrote recently, not a sunny person. Being honest and open about the loss—and about any disability, I think—can help you get your sunny side back.

When Is a Hearing Aid Not A Hearing Aid?

The manufacturers of these new hearing devices (pictured), properly called Personal Sound Amplification Products, advertise that they don't look like hearing aids. They don’t. Hearing aids are practically invisible these days, whether they’re worn in the ear or behind the ear or both. The PSAP is a big black box hanging on your ear. Why is this preferable? Marketing.

Advice to Dear Abby

Dear Abby tries to suggest how Mortified can deal with her hearing-impaired in-laws in a restaurant. She should have asked an expert. Or at least someone with hearing loss.

Unheard Melodies Can Still Be Sweet

Music and hearing loss don't really mix. But I've learned to listen—and enjoy—in a new way. Sometimes I even sing—but only to my dog.

What Do Football and a Chainsaw Have in Common?

Would you really sit next to a chainsaw for three hours without hearing protection? Football fans do the equivalent all the time, blithely ignoring the danger they're doing to their hearing health, and possibly their future cognitive health.

People ARE Paying Attention

The hearing aid market place is chaotic, confusing and wildly expensive. Last week, a conference at the Institute of Medicine in Washington DC convened for two days to discuss what we might do about it. Many interesting ideas and innovations were presented and discussed.

New Year's Resolution Paradox

My resolution this year is to be more upbeat, more accepting. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop lobbying for change. There's still plenty of room for improvement in the way the world deals with hearing loss.

Holidays and Hearing Loss

Come one, come all. Sing, celebrate, eat, drink. I won't hear you, but I'll be happy.

Thank You, Elena

So much of what Elena experienced transcends national boundaries. But as her story shows, much doesn’t. I received her email on Thanksgiving. It reminded me to be thankful for how relatively tolerant and accepting Americans are about disability.

Movie Captions Could Be Coming to Your Neighborhood

Statistically speaking, one in five in this audience has hearing loss. Until now there were no captioning systems to help them understand the dialogue. But theaters are beginning to comply. "We've reached a tipping point" on captioning, one advocate says. "Fifty years ago no one thought about wheelchair ramps" either.

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